After a perplexing Wayne Simmonds trade, Sabres GM Jason Botterill made another interesting trade when he acquired Dominik Kahun from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for former Penguin/Stanley Cup Champion Conor Sheary and forward Evan Rodrigues. At the time, Buffalo thought they had a realistic shot at qualifying for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and Botterill thought his moves would be enough for the Sabres to make the jump. It has had the opposite effect on the team, as the Sabres have a 3-7 record in their last 10 games and sit 11 points out of the 2nd wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference. They have a 30-31-8 record and have 68 points in 69 games.
Dominik Kahun is a solid player in our opinion, as he registered a +3.30 AB score in his rookie season with the Chicago Blackhawks last year. In Pittsburgh, he had an impressive 3:6 penalty taken/drawn ratio and an equally impressive 7:17 giveaway/takeaway ratio. He is +7 on the season and had 10 goals and 17 assists for 27 points in 50 games with Pittsburgh. In Buffalo, he has 2 goals and 2 assists for 4 points in 6 games. Kahun is 24 years old, making 925k and is set to become a restricted free agent on July 1st. Under coach Mike Sullivan in Pittsburgh, Kahun averaged 30 seconds less ice time than he did under Jeremy Colliton in Chicago last season. Under Ralph Krueger in Buffalo, he as averaging 30 seconds fewer than he did in Pittsburgh at 13:01.
Despite the fact that we like Kahun, we still think Pittsburgh won the trade, as both Sheary and Rodrigues are positive career AB players (+2.03 and +2.06 respectively). Both had positive penalty taken/drawn ratios in Buffalo with 3:8 and 5:6 ratios respectively. Sheary had an even 12:12 giveaway/takeaway ratio, while Rodrigues had an 11:12. Both players have negative +/- numbers (Sheary -5 and Rodrigues -8) and both are making 2+ million at 27 and 26 years old respectively.
We feel players like Sheary and Rodrigues are ones that GMs should keep on their rosters, and especially not move them at the deadline in an attempt to make a playoff “push”. We think that overall, Pittsburgh was huge winners of this deadline season, while Buffalo is among the biggest losers given their situation and decisions. We are unsure if Sabres GM Jason Botterill will still have his job following the conclusion of this season, and many Sabres fans are voicing their opinions on various social media platforms regarding his job security as well. More to come.